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  • Writer's pictureJ. S. Eiland

Life Is Remembered By How We Live, Not Die

I recently wrote about how ultimately it is the leadership to blame for our current state of affairs. Not to say that the people are completely without blame, they made their own choices, but they were led to their own doom, willingly, blindly, or otherwise, they were still led.

Isaiah 9:14-17

Therefore the Lord will cut off the head and tail from Israel,

Palm branch and bulrush in one day.

The elder and the honorable, he is the head;

The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.

For the leaders of this people cause them to err,

And those who are led by them are destroyed.

Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,

Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;

For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,

And every mouth speaks folly,

For all His anger is not turned away,

But His hand is stretched out still.

The whole chapter (Isaiah 9) is like this, each section discusses the evil ways of the nation and how much God abhors their ways, not them, their ways. This is an important distinction and a necessary point to understand. God does not hate the people for their evil ways, but He does hate their evil way. Look at verse seventeen:

Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men.

The Lord isn’t forever angry with their young men, quite the opposite, He is sad for them, He finds no joy in them because of how they live, He pities them because He knows how much more fulfilled and happily they could be living. We must understand that implication. God seeks joy, especially in our lives, but that does not mean He, nor we, can allow evil to abide just because to remove it would upset the current status of comfort and joy. Verse seventeen continues on to finish like every other section in this chapter:

But His hand is stretched out still.

It blows my mind how quickly and easily we each willingly and willfully cast about hate and blame for all the problems of the world and the myriad ways we have been wronged, but would any of us continue to keep our hand stretched out in love and compassion as a lifeline for any of those we perceive as evildoers?

The more I read the Old Testament the more consistently I see parallels to our current world, specifically the people of America. I know for most, this is an unsettling and even scary thought, but I tell you it should not be. If you are consistently spending enough time in The Word to recognize such similarities and you are still afraid, than you need to practice your faith more intently and regularly. We cannot lose. We will not lose. Haven’t you heard? Evil does not triumph.

The worst thing they can do is take my life, but it is how I lived my life that will be remembered. What will they remember about you?

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